This is one of the best street foods of India and has managed to weave the entire country in one string. It is known in various regions of India by varying names like phuchka, golgappa and paani puri.A little preparation beforehand is required for the ultimate pleasure. I would divide this into four sections as per the ingredients and preparation.Some like it sweet, some sweet and sour and some like me, love this simply hot and sour.
Paani puri to be bought readymade from the stores.
For khatta paani or sour water
- Soak 10 gms of tamarind in warm water for an hour. Mash and strain and that’s how you get the pulp.The easier version would be to buy tamarind pulp from the stores.
- Take 1 cup of mint leaves and coriander leaves each and after washing it thoroughly put it in a blender.
- Add little water, two green chillies( optional), 50 gms of raw mango with skin peeled ( when in season) 2 tbsps of tamarind pulp.
- Blend well and strain.
- Add 1 tsp of roasted cumin powder and 1 tsp rock salt and mix .
- Add 500ml of water and keep it to chill in the frigde in your deep serving bowl.
For the sweet chutney
- Soak 10 seedless dates, 10 gms of tamarind and 2 seedless red chillies and 50 gms jaggery or cane sugar in 200 ml of water.
- After having soaked this for an hour transfer it to a blender. Add 1 cup of mint leaves,1 tsp of roasted cumin powder and 1/4 tsp of rock salt and 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder.
- Blend well and transfer it to a serving bowl.Keep it in the fridge.
For potato filling
- Boil 8 medium sized potatoes, remove the skin, chop it into tiny bite size pieces and keep it in a bowl.
- Add 1 tsp each of roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, chaat masala powder, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tbsps of very finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Mix the spices amd potato with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl and keep it in the fridge.
For dried peas or ragda filling
- Soak 100 gms of dried white or green peas in 500 ml of water overnight or for a minimum of 5 hours.
- After which transfer the peas with the water to a pressure cooker.
- Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder,1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup of finely chopped tomatoes to the peas.
- Close the lid and let at cook on high flame until the first whistle.
- Simmer the flame and let it cook for 5 mins after which turn off the heat and once the steam dissipates open the lid.
- Now, add 1 tsp each of roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, chaat masala ,1 tsp of finely chopped fresh green chillies and 2 tbsps of very finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Bring everything to a boil and transfer it to a serving dish.This is served hot.
THE FINAL ASSEMBLY
- Take out the sour water and stir it well.Taste and check for the seasoning.
- Add dried boondi ( small deep fried chick pea flour drops) to the water and lots of ice cubes and serve.
- Take out the sweet chutney and the potato filling and serve.
- The dried peas filling is served piping hot to give a hot and cold blast of flavour in your mouth.
- Keep everything on your dining table including the puris.
- To eat, make a hole in the centre of the puri and add 1 tsp of potato filling, 1 tsp of ragda, sweet chutney and the sour water in this particular order.
- You have to eat it immediately in one go. It turns soggy if you keep it after filling .
- Don’t add the sweet chutney if you do not like it sweet.
- You can add or remove the number of chillies as required.